Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management Yellow Belt Certification Course

An experiential and interactive certification course providing disciplined approaches, tools, and skills to take your role, firm, or department to a new level of excellence and profitability through the use of Lean, Six Sigma, Process Improvement and the fundamental drivers of Project Management.


  • 06 December, 2018 - 07 December, 2018
  • 450 N Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago, IL, 60603, United States (View Map)

Additional taxes may be applicable


Full Agenda

Download the full agenda here


DAY ONE: Thursday, December 6, 2018
8:00AM Sign-In & Continental Breakfast
8:30AM Introductions 

8:45AM Kickoff: The PI + PM Connection 
Process Improvement & Project Management: What are they—and how do they work together? 

9:00AM Demonstration—Time Keeping & Billing Simulation 
Group Exercise & Discussion 

9:30AM Key Process Improvement Methodologies (lecture/discussion) 
Lean, Six Sigma, Legal WorkOut®, Pure Technology, BPR, RPA, Theory of 
Constraints, PDCA, Gemba, 5S. Key Principles of Lean Sigma 

Process Selection & Scope; Identifying Value, Waste, and Variation 

10:30AM Networking Coffee Break 

10:45AM Introduction to Project Management 
Stages of PM: Define objective, Scope, Project Plan, Execute, Monitor, 
Review and Improve 

Approaches to Project Management: Agile, Scrum, Kanban 

Lecture, Discussion, Video 

11:45AM PI Projects, Roles and Teams 
DMAIC Overview, Kaizens 

12:15PM Networking Luncheon 

1:00PM Techniques to Build a Fast Process and Manage Projects 
Video and discussion 

DMAIC: Define Phase 

Project Charter 
Exercises: Stakeholder Analysis, Problem/Opportunity Statement, 
Business Case 
Client Requirements/Voice of the Client 
Exercises: Voice of the Client, IPO Diagram 

Process Mapping - Exercise 

3:15PM Networking Coffee Break 

Project Planning, Scoping & Budgeting 

Exercises: Adding Dimension to Process Maps, Project Planning and 

DMAIC Measure Phase 

Process Performance, Issue Diagrams, Measurement Assessment Trees, Measurement Strategy, Graphical Analysis, Story Boards 
Exercise: Issue Diagrams 

Day One Summary, Assignment & Wrap-Up 

DAY TWO: Friday, December 7, 2018 

8:00AM Sign-In & Continental Breakfast 

8:30AM Overnight Thoughts
8:45AM DMAIC Analysis Phase 
Explore, Hypothesize, Verify Causes 
Lecture/5 Whys Video/Group Work/Correlation vs Causation Video 
Exercise: Cause and Effect (Fishbone) Diagrams 

9:30AM DMAIC Improve Phase 
Exercises: Solution filters, Structured brainstorming, Selecting solutions 
Lecture/Group Work/Exercises 

10:30AM Networking Coffee Break 

10:45AM DMAIC Control Phase 
Toyota’s 4 Rules, Control Design, Process Ownership, Calculating and 
Showcasing Benefits — Lecture/Discussions 

11:15AM Scope Change 
Exercise: Change Order Process Design 

11:45AM Using PI and PM to Collaborate: The Legal Workout ® 

12:00PM Networking Luncheon 

12:45PM The Deep Dive: Design Thinking / Kaizen in Action 
Video and Discussion 

1:15PM Design Thinking & Innovation 
Exercise: Empathize 

2:00PM Putting PI and PM Together (Group Exercise)

2:15PM Networking Coffee Break 

2:30PM Getting Started and Structuring for Success 
Change Management, Prioritization, Organizational Development, 
Approaches to PI/PM 

3:00PM Next Steps / Key Takeaways 
Table Discussions 

3:45PM Day Two Summary & Wrap-Up 

4:00PM Program Concludes 

Full Description

This two-day certification course introduces participants to the leading-edge of Process Improvement and Project Management. This program is comprised of lectures, exercises, simulations, videos, discussions, group and table-team work, and demonstrations incorporating examples and case studies from the legal profession.

The course is constructed so that each table-team engages in exercises that facilitate the ability to learn and apply concepts and tools in the context of on a specific legal or business process. This way, what is learned is immediately useful and highly relevant.

As such, individual registrants are welcome, however, this course is best-experienced by teams of up to 7. A table reservation includes a consulting call prior to and following the program to assist with attendee and project selection and next steps/debrief.

The learning objectives of the PI/PM Yellow Belt course are to:

  • Understand the basic concepts and terminology associated with processes, process improvement, and project management
  • Articulate the case for carrying out process improvement systematically and the benefits of combining Lean Sigma and project management within a law firm or legal department
  • Describe the key process improvement toolkits (Lean, Six Sigma) and the main concepts behind each plus alternative approaches (Kaizens, Legal WorkOut®)
  • Understand the key stages of project management
  • Communicate the 5 key phases in executing a process improvement project and key deliverables required in each
  • Know the major steps and most common tools used in each phase of a project
  • Apply common tools in project management
  • Understand financial aspects of project management, including budgeting, total cost of ownership, and scope changes
  • Apply the concepts, steps and tools to process improvement opportunities in law firms and legal departments
  • Know what is required to move beyond carrying out process improvements, opportunistically

Upon completion of this workshop, each attendee will receive a Certification Legal Lean Sigma and Legal Project Management from the Legal Lean Sigma Institute!

Successful Collaboration Between Law Firms and Legal Departments: The Real Next Frontier

Don’t forget—on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 (the day 
BEFORE this Yellow Belt Workshop), Ark Group is also hosting a 
full-day program, Successful Collaboration Between Law Firms and Legal Departments: The Real Next Frontier! 

You won’t want to miss this! Details and discounts can be found here.


Top industry speakers

Catherine Alman MacDonagh

Catherine is a former corporate counsel and law firm executive. She now teaches and provides training and consulting services with a focus on marketing and business development, strategy, process improvement, project management, and operational and process excellence. In her practice, FIRM Guidance, she serves as “trusted advisor to the trusted advisors,” whether training, coaching, or developing competitive advantages. She is also Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Mocktails LLC, which offers experiential networking training programs, including The Legal Mocktail. A Legal Lean Sigma® Black Belt and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Catherine is the CEO and a Founder of the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, which offers consulting and the first and only process improvement and project management certifications, courses, and workshops designed specifically for the legal profession.

Catherine is an adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School and at George Washington University (Master’s in Law Firm Management) and a frequent guest lecturer at other academic institutions. She is the author of Lean Six Sigma for Law Firms and the co-author of The Woman Lawyer's Rainmaking Game and The Law Firm Associate's Guide to Personal Marketing and Selling Skills. She is a contributing author to six books: Redefining Matter Management: A Best Practice Guide to Improving Processes and Profitability; The Lawyer’s Guide to Project Management; The Bigger Picture: Driving Client Value Through Collaboration; The Lawyer’s Guide to Process Improvement; and The Procurement Handbook.

Catherine is a founder of both the Coalition of Professional Services Providers and the Legal Sales and Service Organization, which presents the annual LSSO’s RainDance Conference. Honors and awards Catherine has received include: Fellow, College of Law Practice Management; Legal Marketing Association Hall of Fame (the association’s highest honor); Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40; two years on the prestigious MLF 50 (Marketing the Law Firm Top 50) List; and several Legal Marketing Association Your Honor Awards. 

Timothy Corcoran

Tim Corcoran is a principal with the Corcoran Consulting Group, He advises law firm leaders, in-house counsel, and legal service providers on how to profit during a time of great change. This includes assisting law firm leaders with business strategy, primarily in the areas of operational excellence and business growth, and assisting in-house counsel manage preferred provider programs. He also advises legal service providers on market dynamics and sales force readiness. He is an expert on law firm and in-house counsel relations.

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